Authorisations / licensing
With certain exceptions, an authorisation is required for the acquisition, keeping, transfer, storage and/or manufacture of explosives.
There are three types of authorisations:
What is a licence?
A licence is a document that allows the holder to store and/or manufacture explosives. The holder of the licence is the person who controls the activities covered by that licence ie manufacturing and/or storing the explosives, and complies with the conditions of that licence.
Licences can be granted by either, Local Authorities, Police, HSE or ONR, depending on:
- whether the activity is manufacture or storage
- whether an explosives certificate from the police is needed to acquire and keep explosives
- the quantity of explosives
- whether or not the separation distances can be met
Find out how and where to apply for a licence.
Licences can be transferred from one person to another, provided:
- an application is made in writing to the licensing authority
- the site remains suitable
- the person who wishes to manufacture or store explosives in place of the licensee is a fit person
If a licensee dies or becomes incapacitated, a person manufacturing or storing explosives in accordance with the conditions of the licence, will be treated as being licensed until either:
- the expiration of a period of 60 days starting with the date of death or incapacity
- the grant or refusal, of a new licence
- the transfer, or refusal to transfer, of the licence
If a licensee becomes bankrupt, or a company with an explosives licence goes into liquidation, administration, or receivership any liquidator, administrator, receiver or trustee in the bankruptcy will be treated as the licensee.
What is an explosives certificate?
An explosives certificate is a document that identifies a person as being fit to acquire and/or keep relevant explosives.
There are two types of certificate:
- ‘Acquire only’ certificate – to permit a person or company to obtain explosives that are to be used immediately, and not kept overnight
- ‘Acquire and keep’ certificate – to allow a person or company to obtain explosives and keep them in an approved storage place
Anyone who wishes to acquire and or keep relevant explosives needs to contact their local police explosives liaison officer. All explosives are relevant explosives apart from those listed under Schedule 2 of Explosives Regulations 2014.
What is an RCA (Recipient competent authority)?
An RCA is a document approving the transfer of civil explosives. Before any explosives are transferred, the consignee shall obtain from the competent authority for the place where the transfer will terminate, a recipient competent authority document which grants approval for the transfer.
No person may carry civil explosives unless the civil explosives are accompanied by a recipient competent authority.
Further information on transfer of explosives is available.
Find out more
- Explosives Regulations 2014: Guidance on Regulations – Security provisions
- Explosives Regulations 2014: Guidance on Regulations – Safety provisions